Talking with teens

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“why fit in when you were born to stand out? -Dr. Suess

It has been a busy week and even though I have a beautiful new laptop and plenty to say on a multitude of subjects, I took a little hiatus to catch up with friends and hang out with my daughters. It may seem a little lazy but below is a quote taken directly from Facebook, it is advice I gave to my daughters thirteen year old friend after a post she made about society and it’s ugliness. So many teens feel that they are not good enough, not skinny enough, not pretty enough, unloved and unwanted.

Why is this? Are we as parents letting our kids know how loved, beautiful and important they are. Are we teaching them the true meaning of beautiful?

I think of my children when they were first born, as pure as the mountain air. All of our children were born that way. Who taught them to hate themselves, dislike their bodies, feel they weren’t good enough? Who taught them to judge themselves and others by an unrealistic version of perfect?

Every single person that notices that something is wrong in society has a responsibility to help change it, man, woman or child. We will never right all the wrongs in the world but we can begin by loving ourselves and showing our children how important that is. If a person truly loves themselves they will love others, not for the clothes they wear, their body type or the way they wear their hair.

Self love is the most important kind of love. When a child loves themselves they make healthy decisions that are in their best interests as an expression of how they feel about themselves. People with no self worth make bad choices inviting people into their lives that can do them harm.

I could rant on about this for hours. I have a teenage daughter that I have to constantly prepare for the big bad world. I have found that the two best ways to teach my daughter how to love herself are:

A) Love myself. Show her I love who I am, with all my quirks and flaws, I embrace all that I am.

B) Love her. Love her enough to say no to her and have her dislike me, show her boundaries and teach her right from wrong. Love her even when I don’t like her much. Focus on the qualities that make her beautiful, her kindness, her enthusiasm, her compassion, her desire to help others. Teach her that happiness is beautiful and that true beauty shines through perceived flaws.

“Wherever you are in life be the soul of that place. The first step in changing society is changing yourself and realizing that imperfect is perfect. Beauty is everywhere and it can’t often be seen with your eyes but it sure can be felt with the heart. Be the light in a world of darkness…that will be amazing. ♥”

Let it Rain

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I am sitting in my quiet living room, the soft tap tap of rain on the rooftop the only accompaniment to my wandering thoughts.

I am trying to pinpoint why I love the rain. Nobody appreciates a cloudless blue sky with the sun warm on my face any more then I do but the truth is I love the rain too. It’s a little cool in here with the windows open but I just grabbed my favorite soft fleece blanket and curled up on the coach.  There is plenty I should be doing and could be doing but I have chosen to take a break and enjoy the soft sounds of mother nature bathing the earth.

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I even like thunder and lightning.  When I was kid we used to have to sit in the hallway during storms as my mother was terrified of thunder and lightning,  as was her mother. I don’t know how that despite their fears I developed such a facination for booming thunder or electric bolts lighting up the sky but I did.

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Nature can be a thing of immeasurable beauty or at times what we think to be cruel and punishing but it should always be respected.

“Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous – indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.”

Richard Dawkins ~ River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls” Mother Teresa

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So no matter what you believe in Nature can teach us all something about life because although nature may not be in a hurry everything gets accomplished. For those of you hurrying through your life today please take an extra minute  to smell the roses, smile at a stranger, hold a door, lend a hand, share a laugh or simply take a moment to appreciate the quiet beauty around you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmVn6b7DdpA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Daily Prompt-Mirror Mirror

Finish this sentence: “When I look in the mirror, I . . . “ Photographers, artists, poets: show us MIRRORED. 

When I look in the mirror I simply see me. I see a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend. I see the person who conquered her demons and tries everyday to be a better, more accepting person. I see a woman who is strong and enduring,  who loves with her whole heart. I see the beauty in that!

When I look in the mirror I see me.

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/category/daily-prompts/

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Growing “Older” Gracefully-A celebration of timeless beauty

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” 

― Sophia Loren

The girls and I were at the spray park today, cooling off from the sweltering Canada Day heat and what I observed was an abundance of women determined to NOT grow old but in turn they looked just that. There really is something to be said for growing “older” gracefully. By that I don’t mean letting yourself go. I mean dressing appropriately, not using so much make-up that it settles into your fine lines, actually adding to the years you are trying to cover up, and keeping it natural. With age comes wisdom and people that have the wisdom to embrace their years can teach us all a lesson. I was thinking back to some of the women I have admired and envied over the years and how their addictions to plastic surgery and holding on to youth have been anything but kind to them.

Remember Melanie Griffith in Milk Money? She was just naturally beautiful and she exuded  happy confidence. For years she had an on again off again romance with hunk Don Johnson and when that romance finally fizzled Melanie found solace and love with Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas. Perhaps trying to keep up with Hollywood elite young beauties was too much because sweet, fresh faced Melanie is a shadow of her former self.

Melanie in Milk Money

Melanie –Growing Older Gracefully

Melanie Before and After

Priscilla Presley

In 1959 Iconic Elvis Presley met Priscilla at a party in Germany. She was 14 at the time but appeared much older and made quite an impression on the King. She was truly one of the most beautiful women in the world. I can understand the desire to stay youthful and I can only assume that a little nip here and a tuck there turns into an obsession until there is very little left to work with. Priscillas pretty face does not even show a glimpse of who she once was and should now be. 😦

Young Pricilla

Growing Older Gracefully

Plastic Surgery Gone Horribly Wrong

Mickey Rourke

He was so sexy and seductive alongside Kim Bassinger  in 9 1/2 weeks. Vanity is devilish!

Victoria Beckham

There is nothing POSH about this disaster. Your hunky husband may play soccer but I am sure he didn’t intend for you to put balls on your chest!

Darrel Hannah

Like a fish out of water something has gone terribly wrong with my favorite mermaid

Heidi Montag

Of Hollywood’s the Hills fame, young Heidi, born and raised in Colorado intends to become a walking barbie. One thing is for certain, she is plastic!

The true beauties are those that embrace their age like Helen Mirren, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Sheryl Crow, Halle Berry, George Clooney, Sting, Diane Keaton, Bruce Springsteen, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane, Annette Benning, Richard Gere and my FAVE Jamie Lee Curtis. These are the men and women we should be looking up to. Healthy bodies, healthy faces and healthy attitudes about aging. Aging is inevitable but the way you age is a choice. Cheers to Growing older gracefully, in mind, body and spirit.

Daily Prompt: The Natural World

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Nothing makes me feel more like I am present in the moment then when I am close to nature and you can find it everywhere. It’s not what you look at, it’s what you choose to see. The peony above got soaked with weeks of rain but in the morning a little sun peeked through the storm clouds and the petals opened up to meet it and bask in it’s hot splendor. Living things, raised by the unpredictable sun.

I am from Nova Scotia so I have always liked to be near the ocean. The call of the waves lapping against the rocks on the shore sings a special song to my heart. I often crave the solace that sound brings me.

The mountains of my West Coast home beckon me often. Whenever someone I know is visiting the mountains I say “Don’t forget to breathe! ” I drink the mountain air into my soul allowing it to fill my body head to toe. Part of my heart I leave there always and being reunited makes me feel whole.

Surrendering to nature makes everyday trials insignificant. Nature is restless, strong and enduring.

Natures plans are sometimes swift and fierce and others slow and steady.

The challenge is to allow yourself to see and feel the beauty and promises of our natural world. It is in your crowded city days and lazy country afternoons. It is everywhere if you take the time to see it!

 

Nakusp, British Columbia

Nakusp, British Columbia

This is for the WordPress photo a day challenge for FORWARD. Looking forward to next weekend when we take the 9 hour trip to beautiful Nakusp for a relaxing mini vacation on a private beach on Lower Arrow Lakes overlooking the mountains. They are in the midst of a heat wave so the water will be a great idea. This place is magical and so very good for my soul. It brings us closer to nature and to each other. Looking FORWARD with happy anticipation.